Penny looks good but in tough

 Penny Lace appears to be rounding into form again.

The five-year-old daughter of Albert Albert out of Raschel Lace captured her third win in eight 2003 starts, capturing the second elimination leg of the Miss Cloverdale Classic last Friday.

In a field of six, Penny Lace, a 2-1 second choice, came from fifth at the half to beat 8-5 favourite Dal Reo Damsel by a length in 200:3 for the mile. Damsel had cut the mile to the head of the stretch but trainer/driver Dave Hudon brought Penny Lace home in a 30.2 last quarter for the win. That's A Thought, a 19-1 shot, was third.

Penny Lace, owned by Nigel and Marsha Holmes and Kelly Hudon, had a tough spell through mid-to-late 2002. After finishing third in the November, 2001 B.C. Breeders Stakes, Penny Lace won five and was second three times in her next eight starts. Only one more victory was achieved in her next 20 starts of 2002.

Another horse which is liking 2003 won the other leg, also in a field of six. My Kinda Cam, a five-year-old daughter of Camluck out of Imthatkindofgirl, made it five wins (and a second and third) in seven 2003 starts).

My Kinda Cam, owned by Robert Murphy and trained and driven by Bill Davis, went gate to wire in winning in 1:58.4. A 2-5 favourite, she won by 3 1/2 lengths over Princess Jessica N with Dealmeahos third.

The top nine finishers -- others in the field will be Amys Breeze, The Color Of Money and Taylor Lite -- will battle Friday in the $31,300 final in the event for open fillies and mares which are B.C. bred, sired or owned.
Penny Lace has drawn the trailing nine hole and may face a tough chore. My Kinda Ca, part of the overnight-favoured entry, has drawn the six spot while second-choice Damsel will start from the rail.
 STEPBACKANDRELOAD NAMED IGA HORSE OF THE MONTH: Following in the young footsteps of a recent winner, Stepbackandreload has been selected as MarketPlace IGA horse of the month for February.

Stepbackandreload is a three-year-old -- as is December H of M winner Yeah Norton -- who has started his career in fine fashion. The colt, by Dal Reo Hop Sing out of Maxillas Memory, started three times in February and won them all.  (He had one previous start, finishing second, but was charged with a break and had to qualify -- a race he also won).

Stepbackandreload (do you get the feeling you don't want to ask why that name) improved his time each start with his last a 2:01.1 clocking.

He is owned and bred by Leslie Godlien, trained by Rick Lancaster and has been driven by Rod Therres.
Other horses gaining consideration included My Kinda Cam, Bre X, Vanishing Equity, Mattsolut and Chestico Beauty.

HE'S STILL HERE: Leading driver/trainer Bill Davis was expected to be leaving for Alberta after last weekend but now will likely not head east for another month. That's not good news for other Downs drivers and trainers as Davis continues with the hot hand.

Davis the Driver chalked up 11 wins last weekend, neatly split 3,4,4 over the three days. Jim Marino and Rick White were next with four each.

Tim Brown picked up two, despite a limited schedule, and now has 1,499 for his career.

Dave Jungquist, another top driver/trainer, did leave for Edmonton last weekend, taking with him such stalwart horses as Nazko Promise and Rich Cam.

Davis also led with six visits to the winner's enclosure as a trainer. Sten Ericsson, White, Heather Sifert and Mark Martin had two each.

MATT AND THE MEADOWLANDS: Mattnifesto, the four-year-old colt owned by Jim Vinnell of Langley, continues to race well in the U.S. The son of Matts Scooter out of Camelia Mae, defeated a field of four-year-old $50,000 (US) claimers Friday, March 7 at the Meadowlands.

Driven by Luc Ouelette, Mattnifesto covered the mile in a quick 1:52.4 to win by 2 1/2 lengths. He has now won twice and picked up a second in some of his starts since going south from Alberta via Ontario.